Swedish massage is what most people think about when they first hear the word “massage”, even if they don’t know that that’s what it’s called. It’s sometimes called a traditional massage and is performed by a trained and licensed massage therapist. The skin is lubricated with massage oil and the therapist uses gliding and other movements to begin to massage the whole body. It’s one of the longer massages and usually takes between 50-60 minutes, but you can still combine it with other services for a broader experience.
Swedish massage is the most requested form of massage and is used to relax the entire body. While some may think that the purpose of the Swedish massage is for relaxation, there are some health benefits that come with it. Through the massage, blood circulation is improved, the level of oxygen in the blood is increased and toxins are removed from the body. It can be used to improve flexibility, ease tension or for pain management. This is primarily accomplished through various techniques including rubbing the muscles in long, gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart.
The therapist can also use other techniques such as kneading a muscle, percussion-like tapping, shaking motions, stretching and cross-fiber friction to break up muscle knots.
The particular technique of Swedish massage was pioneered in the 1820’s by Dr. Per Henrik Link. Early in the 19th century he created a system called, “Medical Gymnastics” with techniques taken from China, Egypt, Rome and Greece. These became known as “Swedish Movements” in Europe and “the Swedish Movement Cure” within the United States. Today, it is simply known as Swedish massage and is one of the most popular in the world of Western massage.
To take part in a Swedish massage, your remove your clothes or robe while the therapist is out of the room and lie face down between two sheets on a massage table. Your face is in a cradle so that the spine can remain in a neutral position throughout the process.
When the therapist reenters the room, they wash their hands and uncover only the part of the body that they’ll be immediately working on. It usually starts with the back since this is the area where most people complain of having pain the most. After also massaging the back of your arms and legs, the therapist will then hold up the sheet and ask you to turn over and move down so that your face is no longer held within the cradle. At this point, most therapist will massage the front of the legs, one at a time, then move on to the arms, neck and shoulders. The feet are usually massaged last.
This massaging sets up a chain reaction throughout the body that produces a positive effect on all layers and within each system of the body. The nerves, muscles, glands and circulation are all affected which helps to reflect health and wellbeing.
Once the massage is over, it’s a good idea to give yourself time to relax and let the full benefits sink in.
If you’re considering a Swedish massage, come see us at our Joplin, MO location. We look forward to serving you.